My research interests are diverse and can best be explained by my primary professional goal: the meaningful integration of information and communication technology for the improvement of education at all levels. This broad goal has manifested itself in a few separate, but interrelated research themes that include: 1) the effective design, development, utilization, and evaluation of technology-enhanced learning environments, 2) the appropriate teaching practices for technology-oriented curriculum, and 3) the investigation of factors that influence technology integration at all levels of education. At my core, I am a designer. I design research studies, I design technology-enhanced learning environments, I design instruments following sound psychometric procedures, and I design software following established principles of software engineering. My colleagues and I have published our research in multiple venues, including the Journal of Educational Computing Research, Educational Technology Research and Development, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, Computers & Education, Journal of Computing in Higher Education, Behavior Research Methods, and Computers in Human Behavior. I also regularly present my research at the American Educational Research Association, the Florida Educational Research Association, and the Association of Educational and Communication Technology.
I use a wide variety of research methods to answer my research questions. I employ traditional experimental design research methods for testing many of my instructional designs and innovations in technology-enhanced learning environments. I use classical and modern test theory to establish measurement systems to inform my research and the research of others, using such procedures as exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and more. I have employed literature synthesis and meta-analysis procedures to synthesize across primary studies. I have also used some more complex procedures for analyzing larger data sets, including multi-level modeling and structural equation modeling techniques. Although I was never trained to use qualitative research methods, over the years, I have added some qualitative techniques to my toolbox, such as the Constant Comparative Method, case study, or Phenomenology to answer different types of research questions.
1. The effective design, development, utilization, and evaluation of technology-enhanced learning environments.
The design and delivery of technology-enhanced learning environments are based on principles and guidelines derived from theory, empirical research, professional experience, and the limitations or possibilities of the technologies used for delivery. As technology changes, further empirical research and theory development are necessary to demonstrate its efficiency and effectiveness for learning and teaching situations. Because technology advances at such a rapid pace, the process of conducting sound empirical research and developing theory is an ongoing process. Thus, my research focuses on design effective and efficient instruction using various information and communication technologies and providing sound empirical evidence of their influence on learning.
2. The appropriate teaching practices for technology-oriented curriculum.
Research confirms students struggle with technology-oriented courses. The most troubling statistics are from the introductory computer programming courses where failure and withdrawal rates exceed forty percent. To heighten the quality of the curriculum, teaching practices, and assessment techniques while positively influencing student achievement, I focus on the development of teaching practices that intersect the subject-matter and the technology used for delivery. In particular, I try to provide a rich description of teaching practices grounded in theory and provide empirical evidence that demonstrates the instructional value of those practices. These practices focus on face-to-face, online and blended courses in a wide range of disciplines, such as computer science, information systems, electrical engineering, and more.
3. The study of factors that influence technology integration at all levels of education.
As far back as instructional film, radio, video, and in more recent history, the Internet and personal computers, we have heard a familiar tune from the overly optimistic: This new technology is going to revolutionize education. While our current technology certainly has more potential than its predecessors, there are still overarching factors (e.g., professional development for teachers) that positively influence integration and learning outcomes. Thus, studying the factors that influence technology integration in education is of paramount concern to legislators, administrators, parents, students, librarians, and teachers. My research aims at identifying the significant factors (both positive and negative) that influence technology integration. Accordingly, this information can be used to inform key stakeholders and lead to successful integration in educational environments.